Korean Document Box

Ca. 1870, Yi Dynasty, pear wood, hand-fashioned iron fittings, Kyung Sang Nam Do Province.  30″w, 13.5″ d, 12.25″ h

This box shows all the evidence of old age.  The color is hand-rubbed natural red mineral color.  The corners are protected by old-fashion iron corner braces.  The pull in front is the double-hook kind.  The lock-plate is a simple rectangle with clasp lock used to close the box.  The inside of the box is completely paper-lined but the lining is deteriorated, with holes and wet stains.  The outside, however, is in good condition and displays a wonderful patina.  This is a piece for an antique connoisseur who appreciates a piece of authentic antiquity.

This is a document storage box for someone of the elite scholar class, shown by the expense of having the piece hand-rubbed in red mineral color and having the inside completely paper-lined, but otherwise the form and not details and decoration is important to him.  Scholars of old were influenced by conservative and orthodox Neo-Confucianism of the time, preferring simplicity in every way of life.  This piece is devoid of any decoration other than having a simple iron lock-plate and hand pull, and numerous iron corner brackets mainly to strengthen it.  The appeal of this box is in its simplicity of structure and hand-rubbed coloring.  The scholar would have this box with very simple low wooden corner legs put on top of a book/clothing chest lined against a wall.  This box is certified by an expert in Korea in the late 1990s.

Price: $ 2500